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+ 314 On 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' it takes almost a year to get 10 shows written. It always reminds me of my old yeshiva days, where you used to sit over a piece of Talmud and analyze everything that was going on. David Steinberg

+ 400 In 28 June 1996, The Jewish Press published a paid advertisement signed by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik. follows. "Before the passing of the Rebbe, I included myself among those who believe that the Rebbe was worthy of being Mashiach. And I strongly believe that had we, particularly the Orthodox community, been united, we would have merited to see the complete Redemption. Insofar as the belief held by many in Lubavitch - based in part on similar statements made by the Rebbe himself concerning his predecessor, the Previous Rebbe, including prominent rabbanim and roshei yeshiva - that the Rebbe can still be Mashiach in light of the Gemara in Sanhedrin, the Zohar, Abarbanel, Kisvei Arizal, S’dei Chemed, and other sources, it cannot be dismissed as a belief that is outside the pale of Orthodoxy. Any cynical attempt at utilizing a legitimate disagreement of interpretation concerning this matter in order to besmirch and to damage the Lubavitch movement that was, and continues to be, at the forefront of those who are battling the missionaries, assimilation, and indifference, can only contribute to the regrettable discord that already plagues the Jewish community, and particularly the Torah community."

+ 167 Angel. Communicating With Your Spirit Guides

Are you frustrated because all your friends are communicating with their Guides, Angels, or Oracles, but you get nothing? The remedy may be simpler than you’ve ever imagined. Here’s how it works.

Everyone has Guides. You don’t have to be “special” or “psychic.” Nor do you “earn” their assistance by something you do. If you’re here on Earth, you’ve got Invisible Assistants at your side.

So who are these Invisible Assistants and why do they help you? Guides are highly evolved discarnate entities who know you and love you. They are indeed your best friends. They know your goals for this life. And they will be at your side throughout all your adventures here to help you have the experiences you came to life to have.

Before you enter a body on this planet, you, like everyone else, works out “rules” with your Guides governing how much, when, and what kind of assistance and guidance you want to receive. This is why some Guides can break into their charge’s awareness at any time, while others are limited to only giving brief answers to specific questions, and still others can bring up any subject they deem useful once a conversation begins. The rules are different for everyone because YOU make the rules.

But there’s one requirement that’s part of everyone’s arrangement: your Guides cannot make First Contact. Once the Inbound Processing into your new earthly body is complete, it is up to you to contact them before any guidance can begin.

Just when that First Contact occurs depends upon many factors: the degree of “Forgetting” you achieved during your inbound processing, your soul’s particular “style” or temperament, and the level of its spiritual evolution and awareness. It’s also greatly influenced by the culture and religious environment you entered, the challenges you face, and, last, but definitely not least, the arsenal of beliefs, behaviors and defenses that your new ego uses to help it stay alive and find love here.

First Contact may occur with the almost-newborn infant’s pre-verbal, psychic longing for relief as it struggles through its mother’s birth canal. Or, it may come in a stricken soldier’s, “Oh, God, help me…” as he lies dying on a battlefield. Or at any time in between. For some, it never happens at all. Many live their entire lives unaware of the love and assistance that’s waiting for them.

It also doesn’t matter who that First Contact is addressed to. You can call out to God, The High Mother, Allah, Aphrodite, Shiva, St. Teresa, the Blessed Ancestors, Kali, Buddha, Jesus, Pachamama—or any other name given to Divinity by the many cultures and religions on this planet. Whatever name you use to call out to the Spirit realm, your Guides will answer.

This is not to say that the face of Divinity you called out to will not also answer. It’s just that now, because you’ve called, your Guides can answer. Those are the rules. (For a full discussion of Guides, Oracles, Angels, and other Invisible Assistants, see the article, The Truth About Oracles at

Ideally, we’d live our lives here on Earth in such complete communion with our spirits, souls and bodies that we’d need no assistance from beyond the Veil. We’d feel our spirit’s joy. We’d pay attention to our bodies and heed the messages it sends us about its needs. We’d feel the longings of our souls and act on them, following the soul’s signals to turn ourselves away from pain and toward those things that bring us even more Joy. We’d be faced with challenges, of course—this Game of Life we come here to play would be boring without them—but because we’d be so attuned to the soul, we’d quickly and happily overcome them.

Yes, well, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But here’s what happens when things aren’t working quite that well.

First, your soul will alert your Guides that it requires some assistance in accomplishing its goals. You—the ego, the persona you’ve developed in this life—may be miserable or ignoring soul’s desires or doing things that limit your body (which is your soul’s vehicle here). Whatever the reason, your soul is frustrated because it’s not having the experiences it came to have.

If First Contact has NOT occurred, your Guides can offer no direct assistance. The best they can do—and they can only do it if your agreement allows—is to manipulate your environment in such a way as to prompt you to feel the need to call for help. Some have described this as getting a “cosmic smacked upside the head.” And yes, your ego is highly unlikely to regard this new life crisis as “help.” But your soul will. In its view, you’re on the wrong track; you’re wasting its life and it will welcome whatever it takes to get you back on Right Path.

If First Contact has already occurred—or, if the “Cosmic” is successful, once it does—your Guides will immediately begin communicating with you. They know your real goals, what will really make you happy. They’ve observed your ego’s needs, motives, hopes and fears, and—appearances not withstanding—they’re not completely unsympathetic to its feelings. They will choose the best strategy and most efficient mode of communication for you, the easiest way for you to “get” what you need to know.

They’ll use dreams, music, colors, “coincidences,” oracles, pendulums, bodily sensations, other people, animals, Nature, automatic handwriting, visions, psychics, even plain words if all else fails—they’ll use whatever works.

You may suddenly notice the words to a song running through your head over and over. Or awaken with a dream that feels “important” in an odd way. Or emerge from meditation with a sudden Insight. Or encounter a stranger who makes an offhand remark that’s just what you needed to hear. You might feel drawn to journal or draw or paint. Or to walk in Nature and suddenly see something in a tree’s shape or river’s bend that perfectly illustrates what’s really happening in your life. Or you may be suddenly struck by bodily sensations impossible to ignore. Or you may be drawn to Oracles or other divinatory tools to clarify the assistance you seek.

Your Guides may, if nothing else works, even “talk” to you in your native language. But unless you’ve become very skilled at channeling, this avenue is usually a last resort because the ego can so easily garble or deliberately obscure their message. Be open to any avenue because they’ll use Whatever Works.


+ 99 Sustaining the World

by Avraham Shoar

In his youth, the writer, Avraham Shoar, was the chavruta (study partner) of Rav Kook in the beis medrash of Lutzin. He tells that young Avraham Yitzchak’s diligence was extraordinary. If a short amount of time passed without learning Torah, he felt real anguish: a actual physical pain:

One day (tells Avraham Shoar), he told me: “I have decided that two nights a week, we should learn mishmar (extended learning). Two nights a week, let us learn until dawn.”

I remember one such mishmar night, typical of the character of this extraordinary man. We were learning Chulin from the Talmud together. We were engaged in halachic dispute. I stood my ground, and we argued at length until we at last came to a shared understanding.

It was late. We were learning at the bimah. Around us was silence. In the adjoining dormitory, all the students were already asleep. Before us, burning above the holy ark, was the ner tamid—the eternal light. And we took a short rest from our toil and sat and conversed.

He said to me in a secretive voice: “Do you know, perhaps just the two of us are now sustaining the entire world. Perhaps the Holy One, blessed be He, is judging the world right now. And mankind’s sins are being considered, and they outweigh the good.

“Now the angel Michael, the one defender out of a thousand, picks up the words of our Torah learning and places them on the scale, and our words of Torah help outweigh the other side. If so, we have merited to sustain the entire world. And we are still just children. This is the first year that I am wearing tefillin, and as for you, you are not even bar mitzvah.”

As he spoke, I was lifted to the highest worlds. I could see, almost with my own eyes, the heavenly host: the fiery scale, the angels and cherubim. They were weighing the acts of humanity, and behold, they placed upon the scale the page of Chulin that we were learning, with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot and the Maharsha. And this page gave merit to the entire world.”

As I sat, submerged in my visions, Avraham Yitzchak’s voice continued. I heard him say with great simplicity: “A day will come when and I will be great in Torah. And then...” He touched me so that I would turn to him, and I saw his face burning, his eyes brilliant and sparkling like fiery coals set in milk. And he whispered: “I will go to the land of Israel, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and I will found a yeshiva there, like Kerem Beyavneh. And students from all over the world will gather there, and ‘from Jerusalem will come forth Torah.’”

These were the youthful dreams of Rav Kook.

These were his desires and yearnings when he had just become bar mitzvah.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 4-5

+ 96 Yeshiva University decided to field a crew team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last. The Rosh Yeshiva finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team. So Yankel shlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bullrushes off the Charles River, from where he carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced. Yankel finally returned to Yeshiva. "I have figured out their secret," he announced. "They have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."

+ 97 An American Indian comes back to the Reservation to visit with his parents after spending some time in New York. He says to his father that he's fallen in love with a nice Jewish girl. His father is mortified and says " You're betraying your heritage and you'll break your mother's heart that you're not marrying a nice Indian girl. You know how Jews are, they'll feel the same way and you'll be ostracized in both camps." The son reassures his father, "Don't worry. They must have already accepted the situation because they have already given their daughter an Indian name." "Really?" says the father. "What name?" The son answers, "Sitting Shiva."